Dan Tuohy to start for Ulster in Cardiff
Secondrow is back in the starting line-up after breaking arm on international duty
Dan Tuohy is back in the Ulster starting line-up for tomorrow’s Rabo Pro12 trip to Cardiff after recovering from the broken arm he suffered against Wales last month.
Tuohy, who came off the bench in Edinburgh last weekend, is named alongside Johann Muller for the match at the Arms Park.
For Cardiff, Matthew Rees, will feature for the first time since October having taking an enforced period away from the sport to receive medical treatment.
The former Wales hooker is set for his first appearance in over five months after being named among the replacements.
“Having Matthew (Rees) back is a huge inspiration to us all,” Cardiff coach Dale McIntosh said today. “I am sure he will get a fantastic reception and he is a humble lad who will deal with it and get on with it. But I know how keen he is to get back out on the field and get that Blues jersey on his back.”
Connacht coach Pat Lam has named an unchanged Connacht side for the third straight time for the trip to Scarlets on Sunday.
Lam’s men have moved up to seventh place in the table on the back of four straight victories, although they’ll will face their biggest test this year in the league as the sixth-placed Scarlets welcome back their Welsh contingent.
Commenting on the selection, Lam said: “Being able to put out the same team for the third fixture in a row is testament to the performance of those players selected. The recent team performances have been driven by huge competition for places within the squad,” said Lam.
“Our training has certainly gone up another level in the last number of weeks and we have some experienced and quality players in key positions all pushing hard for a starting place. It makes selection tough in one way but it is also great to see the guys named striving to perform on behalf of the entire squad.
“It’s always been a challenge going over to play Scarlets and it’s been nearly 10 years since we’ve won at Llanelli. The fact that both sides are now fighting for a top six finish definitely adds some spice.
“Scarlets have just come off the back of two losses and will see us as a winnable game at home, especially with the amount of internationals they have in their squad. Despite the number of injuries we have, there is a real confidence and belief in our game and the process we need to go through to achieve the different milestones we’ve set out for ourselves.”
CARDIFF BLUES (v Ulster, Arms Park, Saturday, 6.30pm): D Fish; A Cuthbert, C Allen, I Tuifua, C Czekaj; G Davies, L Jones; G Jenkins, K Dacey, T Filise; L Reed, F Paulo; M Cook, J Navidi, R Copeland. Replacements: M Rees, T Davies, S Andrews, J Down, E Jenkins, L Williams, S Humberstone, G Evans
ULSTER: J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, L Marshall, A Trimble; P Jackson, M Heaney; T Court, R Herring, J Afoa; J Muller, D Tuohy; S Ferris, C Henry, N Williams; Replacements: N Annett, A Warwick, R Lutton, I Henderson, R Diack, S Doyle, P Marshall, C Gilroy.
SCARLETS (v Connacht, Parc y Scarlets, Sunday, 2.05pm): L Williams; K Phillips, J Davies (capt), O Barkley, J Williams; R Priestland, G Davies; P John, 2 K Owens, R Jones; J Ball, J Snyman; J Turnbull, J Barclay, S Timani. Replacements: E Phillips, R Evans, J Adriaanse, R Kelly, L Rawlins, R Williams, A Thomas, G Maule.
CONNACHT: R Henshaw; T O’Halloran, E Griffin, D McSharry, F Carr; D Parks, K Marmion; D Buckley, J Harris-Wright, R Ah You; A Muldowney, M Kearney; J Muldoon (capt), E Masterson, E McKeon. Replacements: D Heffernan, R Loughney, N White, M Swift, A Browne, F Murphy, M Nikora, D Leader.